It's a big year for Netflix as they try to alter public perceptions about how content can be delivered. It began in earnest with their original drama Lilyhammer, but made headlines with their David Fincher-produced political drama House of Cards earlier this year. It's all leading up to their long-awaited revival of Arrested Development on 26 May, of course, but for now we have Netflix's supernatural horror Hemlock Grove...
As with House of Cards, all thirteen episodes of Hemlock Grove are being made available on 19 April around the world. You can watch one or two a week, or binge-watch the whole thing in a day or so. It's up to you. This is the future--or so they say? I personally don't agree, because interest in House of Cards quickly tailed off after it was a major talking point for a week. You couldn't risk talking about it online, because you didn't know how far ahead other people were, and review sites generally chose to review it at the 'one episode per week' pace we associate with regular television. It made for a very fractured and weird experience, as someone who enjoys the symbiosis of watching TV and discussing it with other people. But hey, that's just me. Maybe you love gorging yourself on big new drama shows as quickly as possible. If so, more power to you.
But I digress. Hemlock Grove comes from the mind of Eli Rith (Cabin Fever, Hostel) and is ostensibly about a small-town murder, where two of the prime suspects (a teenage gypsy boy and a wealthy rich kid) join forces to find the real killer. Oh, and there are werewolves. It stars genre actors Famke Janssen (X-Men), Dougray Scott (MI:II), and Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica), amongst many others.
The trailer looks fine; maintaining a high degree of production quality for what's technically a "webseries". I will definitely watch the first episode (it'll be free on Netflix, if they follow the House of Cards strategy), but I doubt I'll be subscribing to Netflix for the privilege. I'm saving my 'one month free trial' for Arrested Development, of course. You'd be mad not to, if you're in the UK--where Netflix has a considerably weaker library of titles compared to European market leader LoveFilm.
But what do you think? Will you be watching Hemlock Grove? If so, how? Rationing yourself to one episode per week, or marathoning the whole show in a few sittings? I'm interested in hearing if Netflix's "release everything" tactic is working, or appreciated. Me? I have the DVD of House of Cards in my Lovefilm queue... and will probably do the same with this.